Tesla drivers will be able to use the full Self-Driving Beta Program (FSD) in downtown Toronto after the company removes geofences banning its use.
Tesla rolled out the feature across Canada in March, but owners found it disabled when they tried to use it downtown.
At the time, Tesla owner and founder Elon Musk responded to an issue on Twitter denouncing the TTC’s streetcar system, stating, “Streetcars are still not well handled by the FSD.”
Tesla established a geofence while it worked to troubleshoot the issue and update its software.
Bilal Farooq, Associate Professor of Transportation Engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University, said:
Farooq added that the technology could likely have been improved from data collected by the company’s vehicles, particularly the multiple cameras installed.
The owner recently noticed that the geofence was lifted following the latest software update.
John Dixon, Tesla owner and president of the Ontario Tesla Owners Club, said: “The good news is that Tesla has solved that problem, and it means fully self-driving cars are becoming more accessible.”
Dixon adds that Tesla owners who frequently drive downtown and want to test their technology will benefit from this.
The TTC said it reached out to Musk following Spring’s comments but did not receive a response. A spokesperson told CTV News Toronto that the TTC was unaware that geofencing had been removed.
“TTC operators are trained to navigate Toronto’s roads safely and are alert to pedestrians, cyclists and other motorized vehicles, including Tesla,” said Senior Communications Advisor Stuart Green. says. “We hope and assume that Elon Musk and his programmers are equally concerned about the safety of Toronto citizens. It means making sure that you can recognize a tram when it is stopped.”
The vehicle is not fully self-driving, and the software is only available for owners and testing, and is open to anyone with a driving score of 80 or higher.
Current technology also requires the driver to be ready to get behind the wheel and take control of the vehicle in an instant.
“Every 45 seconds, pull the steering wheel and tell it to make sure you are there. When the car senses you are not involved, it disengages from the engine. You get kicked out of the office,” Dixon said.
From personal experience, Dixon thinks its self-driving feature is best suited for long road trips, but it’s willing to test it at its core.
Tesla did not respond to CTV Toronto’s request for comment.